When seeking representation for legal matters, clients must remain vigilant to discern any signs of potential malpractice.
Legal malpractice, a breach of professional duty by a legal practitioner, can have dire consequences. Clients should be aware of signs that may suggest such misconduct.
1. Communication breakdown
A noticeable breakdown in communication between you and your legal representative can be a telltale sign. If consistently left in the dark about your case’s progress or receive incomplete responses to your inquiries, it could signal negligence on the part of your legal professional.
2. Missed deadlines
Legal professionals are bound by strict deadlines. Failure to meet important filing deadlines or court appearances could indicate negligence or incompetence. These lapses may negatively impact your case’s outcome.
3. Conflict of interest
Beware of any potential conflicts of interest that your legal representative may have. If they are representing both parties in a dispute or have undisclosed relationships with opposing counsel or parties involved, it could compromise your legal interests.
Excessive billing or billing for work not performed is a significant red flag. Clients should scrutinize invoices for inaccuracies and ensure that charges align with the services provided.
5. Ineffective communication in court
When your representative demonstrates poor courtroom etiquette or fails to effectively advocate on your behalf, it can seriously jeopardize your case. Clear signs may include improper conduct, lack of preparation or weak arguments.
Although these types of claims remain low, insurers in Missouri only closed 100 legal malpractice claims in 2022, clients deserve representation that follows the high standards of the legal system across the board.